Dozens of Kurd porters were arrested by Iranian government forces and after their goods were confiscated, they were stripped and then released.
“On the night of October 14, six Kurd porters were directly shot at by forces in the Kaperan Base. After one of the porters, identified as Kamran, was wounded, the other porters were arrested and after their goods were confiscated, they were undressed and released into the mountains,” a porter said.
Working in the smuggling trade in Iran is a risky business – one that has cost the lives of hundreds of anonymous “human mules” who carry heavy loads of contraband on their backs across the western border with Iraq and Turkey.
Hundreds of the “human mules” have been killed or injured in past years, according to reports by rights groups. Some have been shot by security forces and border guards; others have died after being caught up in natural disasters, stepping on land mines that remain from the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, or falling from mountains.